• Coptfold Dental Practice

How long does a dental implant procedure take?

Dental implants success is dependent on an odd effect occurring between titanium and living bone. When a piece of titanium is placed in contact with bone, new bone is created between the bone and metal, that it is said to have been integrated. This osseointegration is the bedrock that makes dental implants possible; as well as many other surgical procedures.

Dental Implants in Brentwood are almost always carried out in two discrete steps. The first being the implantation of the artificial titanium 'root' of the implant into the jaw bone. Then, there is a pause to allow osseointegration before the top half of the implant is added with an oral prosthetic. This could be three to six months, depending on the health of the patient, but why? Let's explore some of the features which can affect osseointegration times.


Living bone is a dynamic if not slow-moving tissue, full of osteoblasts; small cells which act partly like scaffolders, crawling along the lattices of calcified fibres which make up the microscopic structure of bone tissue. Upon finding a cracked fibre, they go to work laying down more calcium compounds to shore up or extend the bone. This biological activity uses oxygen and nutrition from your diet to help with both growing and healing.


This is best to keep in mind when thinking about things that would stop new bone growth and therefore the osseointegration of titanium into the jaw.


Osteoporosis


The most common disorder which impacts your suitability for implants that we see frequently at Coptfold Dental is osteoporosis. What most people don't realise is that although the risk factors of having osteoporosis go up with age and is more common in women, neither age nor gender is a barrier to receiving dental implants if osteoporosis is not present. The are multiple treatment options and hormonal therapies which are effective at reversing the low bone density which osteoporosis causes. If you have this condition and it is well managed, then we will consider you to be a possible recipient of dental implants in Brentwood.


Cancer


The next bigger obstacle is chemotherapies and radiotherapies used to kill cancer cells. The treatment of cancers has become much more targeted over the last 5 years, with a significant reduction in side effects. But when treating bone cancers, the standard procedure destroys most of the osteocytes, grinding bone growth down to a halt. It is very unlikely that any form of osseointegration can take place while you are undergoing such treatment. As such, we would recommend delaying any plans to have oral implants until you can stop chemo/radiotherapy.


Lifestyle factors


There are several lifestyle factors which could slow down your bone growth and extend the treatment time. Smoking is the largest, along with uncontrolled diabetes and poor nutrition, particularly relating to Vitamin D and calcium. If you have any outstanding cavities, infections or gum disease, we would treat them and recommend an improvement in general oral hygiene before pursuing dental implants in Brentwood. This is due to the maintenance of your implant in the long-term being very similar to that of natural teeth.

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